A heavy smog engulfed the National Capital on the morning after Diwali, with pollution levels dangerously high levels.

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the agency that monitors pollution levels at eight locations across the city, while Particulate Matter (PM)2.5 levels reached 549 micrograms per cubic metre as against the prescribed standard of 60 micrograms per cubic metre, PM10 levels touched 766 micrograms per cubic metre, which is 666 micrograms above the prescribed limit.

Pollution levels near the Indira Gandhi International Airport too touched an all-time high with PM2.5 reaching 239.27 micrograms per cubic metre as against of 60 micrograms per cubic metre and PM10 reaching 550.86 micrograms per cubic metre, which was 450 micrograms above the permissible limit.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) too ranked the quality of air in Delhi as “very poor”.

Delhi, pollution, Diwali

Delhi AQI (Photo: aqicn.org)

As far as other metropolitan cities are concerned, while PM2.5 level reached 111 micrograms per cubic metre in Mumbai, PM10 level touched 197 micrograms per cubic metre. The overall quality of air remained “poor” in the financial capital of India.

Mumbai, pollution, Diwali

Mumbai AQI (Photo: aciqn.org)

The conditions were worse in Ahmedabad, where PM2.5 level touched 999 micrograms per cubic metre. Lucknow too wasn’t trailing behind, where the Air Quality Index stood at 456.

Lucknow, pollution, Diwali

Lucknow AQI (Photo: aciqn.org)

Meanwhile, a spat of words erupted among Twitterati, who argued that though air pollution is an issue throughtout the year, it’s only a day after Diwali that is highlighted. Twitterati also argued that while the issue is given much coverage, there is no word on the measures being taken to curb it.

In a war of words between Digital Entrepreneur Arvind Gupta and Shivnath Thukral, the duo argued that ‘associating Diwali with pollution was as disservice to solving the problem’ and that ‘pollution was a constant issue’.

Another Twitter user highlighted how an appeal against using firecrackers was being seen as an attack on Hindu culture.